On Friday evening I drove my final Gippsland-Melbourne after-work hike. I had a lovely two days seeing the last of my community clients, tying up loose ends & saying lots of goodbyes. There was a going away dinner, flourless chocolate cake, a burnt apple crumble, a really really good apricot pie from the local bakery & lots of educating colleagues on the Bachelorette.
There were lattes, an apple & custard tart (also really really good) & lot’s of hugs too. I was lucky to be gifted a basket of local goodies (jams, relishes, honey, wine, chocolate, delicious) from my colleagues which I’m super excited to use. In fact, I’m thinking of adding some of the blackberry jam to my porridge this morning. I’m a little sad, but super dooper excited for this next chapter.
So yesterday morning I loaded up the last of my belongings & left Melbourne en route to the country.
Now, if there is one thing we all know about Melbourne, it is the great food.
And if there is one thing you all know about me, it is that I love great food. Hence why on my way home, I took a detour to tick off another cafe & hashtag #breakfastinmelbourne one more time.
Urbanspoon Zomato I have eaten at 152 places around Melbourne. I know this is not all inclusive as this habit of taking note only came about in early 2013. My undergraduate degree is unaccounted for but let’s just guess the occasional place on Degraves street and anywhere within a 5km radius of Deakin University, Burwood.
I’ve put together a list of my favourites – it is purely subjective and based on where I have adventured during my time here in Melbourne. I still have 63 places bookmarked to try (59 of these are for brunch), so this is not the bible. But Melbournians will understand, as you tick one place off, you bookmark two others. So because life is far too short, let’s not waste any more time.
Baked eggs: I adored the baked eggs with pumpkin puree, roasted cauliflower & creme fraiche at Hardware Societe (CBD).
Breakfasts worth driving (if needed) 30+ minutes for: Barry (Northcote), Top Paddock (Richmond), Chez Drez (South Melbourne) and Tall Timber (Prahran)
Burgers: Look Grill’d is always good for a non-greasy, fresh burger, & their sweet potato fries are the bomb. For real burgers, there are so many places in Melbourne and there are so many of ‘Melbourne’s best burgers’ lists going around. I’ve eaten at like 4 of them. Of those, 8 bit (Footscray) and Tuckshop Takeaway (Caulfield) were really cool places.
Drinks in summer: Rooftop bar, Swanston St (or your friends balcony)
Drinks in winter: State of Grace, Collins St. It’s, like, hidden behind a door that is pretending to be a bookcase. You actually pull one book & the door slides open.
Dumplings: Raramen (Glen Waverley) & Shanghai Street Dumplings (Little Bourke St, not china town, CBD)
Escape the city: to the Yarra Valley for wine, cheese & chocolate, the Dandenongs for scones at Miss Marples & the Peninsula for the beach.
French toast: This french toast with caramelised peaches & plums at Hannah (St Kilda) was epic. This one also made me realise that I don’t actually like the toast part, just the toppings.
Gelato-free dessert: Myrtles Crepes & Coffee (Northcote).
Gelato: Gelato Messina (Fitzroy, Richmond) and a less decadent but equally delicious Pidapipo (Carlton)
It’s take away but not really: Jimmy Grants (Fitzroy, Ormond, Richmond)
Mexican: Apparently it is Mama Sita, but when I went with a bunch of friends, the line up at 6pm was telling us a three hour wait. So, I have not tried it. But I love Fonda (Richmond, Prahran, Flinders Lane, Hawthorn).
Pancakes: Melbourne is good at pancakes too. You already know to try the blueberry & ricotta hotcake (cake) at Top Paddock. I also enjoyed the banana & ricotta pancakes at Oscar Cooper (Prahran).
Pizza: Hands down Pizza religion. Nothing compares. But, if you are popping out to the Yarra valley the roast mushroom, fontina, black truffle oil, garlic + parsley mushroom pizza at Innocent Bystander is amazing.
Places to share meals: Gazi (CBD) & Hellenic Republic (Kew, Brunswick East) for some George Calombaris greek goodness & make sure you try the grain salad. Or head to the middle east at Rumi (Brunswick East) and try the poached veal dish and the sigara boregi (basically its pastry filled with THREE different cheeses).
Porridge: Check out this post. But I would like to add the Super Seed Porridge at A thousand blessings (Richmond).
Pre-show dinner in the city: Meatball & Wine bar (Flinders Lane). The pork balls with fennel, sage and orange are amazing.
Salads: Ancient Grain (Jimmy Grants), Grilled Chicken Salad (Fonda). Look, I mainly eat breakfast food.
Smashed avo: Operator 25 (CBD) & Barry (Northcote)
Thai: Jinda Thai (Richmond), Paradai Thai (Ashburton, Carnegie), Patee Thai (Windsor, Fitzroy)
Toast for breakfast: Crompton Coffee (Richmond)
Vegetarian: Madame K (Fitzroy)
Vietnamese street food: Hanoi Hannah (Windsor)
And I’ll throw this in..
Where to live: After living in Burwood, Chadstone, Brunswick, Kew, Reservoir & basically Prahran, & after having many conversations between whether the south side or north side is better. I have come to a decision, and I’m going to say the North side. If right now I could pick a place to live, I would choose Northcote or Thornbury. However, Kew/Hawthorn with close access to Power Street makes a good location to access the south, the inner north & the north.
Have a wonderful weekend.